Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 48 hours, you have heard the growing chatter around the Reddit Collectible Avatars (lovingly referred to as digital collectibles versus NFTs).
But as their popularity has grown, so has the number of questions about where to find them, how much they cost, and more.
That is where this guide comes in, as the one-stop-shop for all the basic information on the Reddit Collectible Avatars. This overview will answer the following questions:
- What are the Reddit Collectible Avatars?
- How did users get them?
- Where are they traded?
- Why are Reddit Avatars valuable?
- What does it mean for the traditional NFT community?
Let's dive in.
What Are Reddit Collectible Avatars?
The Reddit Collectible Avatars are limited-edition profile picture (PFP) style digital art, used for digital identity and additional utility benefits on the Reddit platform. For example, holding a Reddit Collectible Avatar unlocks features on Reddit, like providing "special profile treatment."
Each avatar is customizable, with owners able to switch out gear and accessories.
Though Reddit is relying on the phrase "digital collectible," each Reddit Collectible Avatars is powered by a non-fungible token (NFT) that resides on the Polygon blockchain.
To reduce the barrier to entry, Reddit first provided users with the ability to create their own crypto wallets, called Vaults, within the Reddit platform.
The artwork for each Reddit Collectible Avatar was provided by a variety of independent artists, and created in partnership with Reddit. These creators are paid for each avatar that is sold on the Reddit platform, along with ongoing royalties on secondary market transactions.
At the time of writing, there are more than 2.93 million Reddit Collectible Avatars that have been claimed or sold, across 61 different collections. There are currently 2.84 million holders for those avatars, though only 3,650 of those wallets have transacted.
How Do You Get a Reddit Collectible Avatar?
Reddit users were able to purchase their Collectible Avatars in the Collectible Avatars Shop as early as July 2022. The shop page on the Reddit platform includes a list of all the available collections, more information on the artist and creators, and a guide for setting up the Reddit Vault wallet.
The shop page can be found by navigating to the "Style Avatar" section of the applications in the top right dropdown menu of the Reddit website, then clicking "Shop."
To find additional details on a specific Avatar, navigate to "View Details" on the "Outfit Details" section in the avatar builder or through the "Details" menu which can be found on the Reddit profile page.
Starting in August, Reddit began "airdropping" (sending the avatars for free) to the most active community members on the Reddit platform. This led to a surge in adoption, popularity, and widespread ownership across Reddit users.
As more avatars were used on the platform, more folks turned to the paid collections and started buying. Sales volume picked up in September and then even more in early October, as the paid collections started to sell out.
But Reddit users who have not yet claimed an avatar might still be in luck. Users can check their accounts to see if they've earned a free NFT, by logging in and looking for a banner that tells users "You've earned a collectible avatar" and "Claim Yours Now."
Owners of the avatars "own" a bundle of rights including the right to display the avatar inside and outside of Reddit, along with "specialty avatar effects" that come to those using the avatars. Owners also have the full rights to transfer their avatars to other Reddit Vaults as well as to other third-party crypto wallets (i.e. MetaMask), along with the ability to sell and trade them.
Where Are Reddit Collectible Avatars Traded?
The initial claim transactions are all executed on Reddit and require the Reddit Vault wallet. Different collections hold different price points, with most being free to claim (or airdropped), but some creator collections were priced anywhere from $10 to $100 to claim. For paid collections, Reddit offered users the ability to pay via credit card, not requiring any interaction with cryptocurrency.
All the Reddit Collectible Avatars reside on the Polygon blockchain, where the underlying compatibility for Reddit Vault wallets exists. At present time, the biggest secondary marketplace is OpenSea, which made major headlines on Oct. 24 when nearly $3 million in secondary volume was traded, nearly entirely influenced by the Reddit Avatar trading.
To date, there have been ~24,000 Reddit Collectible Avatar sales for a total of ~$6.75 million. Further collection level and summary detail can be found on this Dune Analytics dashboard.
Reddit Collectible Avatars can be traded via cryptocurrency, primarily through ETH on Polygon, but USDC is also an option.
Users are able to transfer or "bridge" ETH over to Polygon's blockchain directly via OpenSea, or can follow our guide video below.
After bridging ETH to Polygon, and switching your network to the Polygon blockchain, you can then begin the process of purchasing a Reddit Collectible Avatar on OpenSea's Polygon marketplace.
On OpenSea, each Reddit Collectible Avatar collection has its own landing page, and all 61 of them can be found here.
Some of the top collections by floor price include Spooky Season from poieeeyeee (0.3 ETH floor), Spooky Season from Rojom (0.48 ETH floor), The Senses (1.5 ETH floor), and Foustlings (1.6 ETH floor).
The highest recent sales for each of those sets include a 30 ETH Senses sale for "The Hands" #1, a 15.25 ETH Foustlings sale, a 5 ETH for Spooky Season by Rojom, and 18 ETH for a gold "Midas Touch" Spooky Season from poieeeyeee.
Each of those top sales is for Token ID No. 1, as the serial is one of the highest-valued traits (a throwback to NBA Top Shot).
Navigating OpenSea Polygon across the different seasons and collections can be tricky, and an aggregator site, redditfloor.com was created where users can browse the cheapest floor listings across all avatar collections. The cheapest listing at the time of writing is 0.019 ETH (~$26).
Why Are Reddit Avatars Valuable?
Some of the Reddit Collectible Avatars have increased by more than 100 times their original price. This begs the question - why are they valuable?
In my opinion, the answer is primarily tied to the concept of digital identity. In an increasingly digital world, where people spend more and more time online and interacting in digital communities, one's online persona matters. And just as people IRL (in real life) flex status via fancy cars and jewelry, the same happens online.
This trend began with the CryptoPunks, the first profile picture project (PFP) to take the NFT community by storm and the first to widely be used as avatars in Twitter and Discord communities. CryptoPunks started being used as avatars and for digital identity in late 2020 and early 2021, and their rise in price during that time helped kickstart a wave of additional PFP projects, most notably the Bored Ape Yacht Club.
In the last year and a half, hundreds of 10,000 NFT profile picture collections have come and gone, with just a few dozen remaining relevant. Several have attempted to offer utility mechanisms as added incentives to buyers, though with very mixed results.
While the Reddit Avatars offer up some utility via the perks owners hold, the main driver of their value is in the status and clout. Now traders from the traditional NFT world are entering these projects, buying up the rarest ones (rare defined by the supply, traits, and serial number of the NFT) and bringing up the overall floor prices along with them.
With the supply of the Reddit Collectible Avatars nearing three million at the time of writing, traders are speculating that the most elite top-100 Reddit Avatars will be very valuable over time due to their rarity and the desire of top Reddit members who will want to flex them.
What Do Reddit Collectible Avatars Mean for the NFT Community?
There are a few takeaways for the NFT community from the success of the Reddit Avatar project.
First, the technology was fully behind the scenes. Reddit users were able to claim these avatars via simple interfaces, without needing crypto and with just a few button clicks. The barriers to setting up and funding traditional crypto wallets were removed, which eased adoption. This is a trend that Starbucks plans to follow for its upcoming NFT launch.
Secondly, the price was free or relatively cheap (~$10) for 99 percent of the Reddit avatars. This is the price point required to reach mainstream adoption and one that will likely be the primary model in the future. A billion users are not going to be onboarded with five-figure prices for profile pictures. Instead, it will happen at free or near-free price points.
The side effect of this trend is that Reddit users aren't coming for our "bags" (popular 2021-2022 NFT PFP projects), and widespread adoption of NFT technology does not necessarily translate to increased prices of existing projects.
Lastly, Reddit is not using the term NFT in its naming convention, instead opting for "digital collectible," even though these avatars are undeniably NFTs. Unfortunately, the term "NFT" seems to have a very negative approval rating.
But guess what, people like avatars! And they like when the price of their avatars goes up! And when it comes time to trade them, they will likely enjoy the power of controlling their avatars on the Polygon blockchain in a decentralized fashion (i.e. full control of the avatars without Reddit's involvement).
Reddit Avatar holders will enjoy the functionality of NFTs, without using the term. Expect the term "digital collectibles" to get a lot more air time in the near future, but let's also heed NFT though leader Punk6529's warning on digital collectibles versus NFTs.
It is like this— 6529 (@punk6529) October 25, 2022
OK to use DCs for adoption, but it has some dangers (easy to swap out the back-end for a database, if you are super concerned to not mention the word "token") pic.twitter.com/N5VvSCIjyL
Who Benefits From Reddit Collectible Avatars?
Overall the success of the Reddit Collectible Avatar program is great for Reddit users and is another step in the mainstream adoption of NFT technology.
With that said, even this program has a long way to go based on the early transaction stats. Some of the early rhetoric around how bullish this event is may be overblown if only 3,600 Reddit users have transacted. That figure does not represent mainstream adoption, as the number is only a tiny percent of their ~500 million active users.
The themes and mechanisms Reddit used for this program (technology behind the scenes, low entry cost, not using the term "NFT") will absolutely be used in the future and should be expected at this point. These were wise decisions and ones more brands and companies will use in deploying NFT programs.
But perhaps the biggest winner here, and the concept that will likely be pushed forward the most as a result of this program, is that of digital identity. Widespread adoption of NFT avatars on the Reddit platform, which has 500M active users, would be a massive step forward and cement PFPs as a primary use case for NFT technology. And given how intricately tied PFPs and digital identity are, this would be a huge win for both.